04/18/2015, 00.00
YEMEN-SAUDI ARABIA
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Saudi policy: UN aid for Yemen, but no ceasefire

by Paul Dakiki
Ban Ki-moon has asked for emergency aid and a truce to help the exhausted population, without food, water, medicine, fuel. Riyadh provides $ 274 million in aid, but continues to bomb the cities of Yemen.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - With an immediate effect, Saudi Arabia has decided to allocate $ 274 million in humanitarian aid for the people of Yemen, almost a month under the aerial bombardment of a coalition led by Riyadh itself.

The donation was made after an UN appeal launched yesterday for exactly $ 274 million to assist the population affected by the conflict.

" Ordinary families – the UN reports- are struggling to access health care, water, food and fuel -- basic requirements for their survival." An official statement from Riyadh said that the donation comes directly from king Salman to express "closeness with our Yemeni brothers".

A day before the appeal, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, in addition to emergency aid, had also requested a ceasefire. But there is no word in the Saudi statement on this issue, also important for the distribution of aid. On the contrary, in the past 24 hours at least 76 people have been killed. The air raids have hit the south and the capital Sana'a.

According to the World Health Organization, the conflict has already left 767 dead and 2906 injured.

On March 19 last, Saudi Arabia and some Gulf monarchies decided to intervene in Yemen to restore the president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to power.  Hadi was driven from his palace by Houthi rebels and fled first to Aden and then Riyadh. For years the Houthi have been seeking greater representation in power and a greater sharing of national resources.

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